The challenge was to give a voiceless house a voice,” says designer Lance Thomas, one half of the duo that runs Room Service, a Lake Charles interior design business and store specializing in Southern traditional mixed with a current and modern twist. “The owners are such an outgoing, cool, fun couple. We had to take this box of a home and give it a voice that represented who they are.”
Lance, an award-winning designer whose resume includes competing on an HGTV design challenge, had worked with the owners, Brandi and Michael Cox, on a previous home. In fact, Brandi was Lance’s first client when he returned to Lake Charles after living and working on the West Coast.
This time around, the Coxes would be working with Lance and his partner, Drew Hoffpauir, the business side of the team who brings real estate experience and an affinity for design to the table.
“Lance is the creative and Drew keeps him organized and on-budget,” says Brandi.
On the plus side, the new property was in the same Kingspoint neighborhood where they already lived and on the lake where the couple and their three sons, ages 16 to 19, frequently boat, fish and ski. It also had a layout they liked. On the negative side, it didn’t have a clearly defined architectural perspective, particularly the traditional Louisiana kind that the couple prefers.
The project called for gutting the downstairs of the 15-year-old house completely, removing a wall and adding architectural character. It also included painting, updating finishes and remodeling the bathrooms upstairs, and improving the exterior with a new entrance, iron gates and other cosmetic changes.
The disjointed amalgam of Grecian columns, Victorian built-in shelves and pocket doors that once resided in the house was stripped away and replaced with a clean backdrop where reclaimed antique pine beams, wide plank oak floors, marble kitchen counters, and a wrought iron stair rail now stand out.
Brandi likes airy Southern elegance, so Lance chose custom pieces designed to stand the test of time and a light palette of floral-inspired pinks and blues that exude calm. To that, he added fun accents that Brandi could change if she tired of them as well as masculine elements that represent Michael and his love of hunting.
The couple also wanted the house to fit the way they live. Rather than a breakfast nook in the kitchen for example, they opted for a coffee area with comfortable upholstered chairs where they can relax and enjoy their outdoor views.
“Lance made it all blend so you have some of Michael and some of me,” says Brandi.
Blending a variety of influences is at the heart of what the Room Service partners say they do best — whether it’s traditional and edgy, old and new, his and hers, classic and contemporary.
“Our look is traditional with a bit of a bite,” says Lance.
“We try to create spaces that look curated and collected over time,” says Drew. “The number one thing people say when they walk into one of our spaces is it looks like it’s been there forever.”
AT A GLANCE
Kingspoint (Lake Charles)
6,500 living, 8,000 total
Reclaimed antique pine beams, wide plank oak floors, quartzite counters, dual kitchen islands